Last year’s coverage of Hanhart’s 417 ES Chronograph piece was extremely popular with you guys, in fact, it made it into our Top 10 watches from 2020. With that in mind, we’re looking at this intriguing brand again. Their new watch, a 150-piece limited edition piece with vintage appeal galore. It’s called the PIONEER One Bronze, and it’s fair to say that it’s a real looker.
Let’s start with the obvious: it’s not going to be for everyone. The case is made of bronze and, from what I can guess, measures a hefty 42mm in diameter (Hanhart’s press release doesn’t state the watch’s diameter, but the other watches in the PIONEER One collection measure 42mm). That tends to divide you lot in our comments section, so I’ll let you decide on it. I like the size, I have wrists that can handle it, and I understand that a pilot’s watch needs to be legible when worn. Hanhart could’ve gone even bigger with the case, I reckon, but that would make it heavy.
I like bronze as a material because it reacts to its environment. While it’s true that that is the unique selling point of bronze watches, it’s nevertheless pleasing to see them adapt to their owner. Sure, all watches will scratch and maybe dent over time, but that’s it. Bronze watches will do that and slightly change their hue over time and depending on the ambient temperature, which I think is cool. Nearly all parts of the case are bronze, including the crown and bezel. Only the caseback is stainless steel.
The dial of the new PIONEER One Bronze is olive green in colour with clear Arabic numerals and longsword-style hands. There’s plenty of green-coloured SuperLumiNova as well to aid in nighttime visibility. The dial matches the saddle leather strap well to give a warm tone to match the bronze case. Thankfully, there’s no date window.
The movement inside the watch is a Sellita SW-200 which, thankfully, Hanhart has opted not to rename. One of my biggest pet peeves in modern watchmaking is renaming off-the-shelf movements, so it appears that they are made in-house. The SW-200 has a hacking seconds function for accurate time setting and a 38-hour power reserve. There isn’t much else to it, to be honest. It’s a robust and straightforward calibre. Fitting for a tool watch, even if it is a special edition one.
This watch would cost you €1190, but according to Hanhart, all 150 examples have sold out.